Christian fasting retreats (aka water fasting retreats) are known to be relaxing, reconciling, and a breath of fresh air. Hundreds of believers sign up to attend these types of little vacations for a stronger connection with the Lord. They also repent for their sins and reconcile with Christ about their addictions or past regrets.
What is a Christian fasting retreat? A Christian fasting retreat offers the retreatant continuous reflection on the word of God for the need of direction in some area of their life. A Christian fasting retreat essentially occurs for a week or weekend and brings prosperity and contentment. The main reason for this event is to spend more quality time beside the Lord while evading all foods or liquids (except for water).
In this article, I am introducing different types of Christian fasting retreats, ten benefits of going on a Christian fasting retreat, and where to sign up for one. Also, if you are participating in a retreat, I am supplying you with the ultimate packing list (which recommends a variety of items that you should bring along with you).
10 Reasons To Go On A Christian Fasting Retreat
From building new friendships to spending some good old fashion quality time with the Lord, here are ten reasons to support why you should consider joining a Christian fasting retreat.
1. Peace & Rest
Going on a fasting retreat gives you an endless amount of time to spend in peace and contentment with God. Even in the Bible, the Lord labored for six days and rested on the seventh. The Sabbath was made for all of humanity and we are meant to rest and worship His name on high.
And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath”–Mark 2:27
This is the time to rededicate yourself to your prayer life and Bible reading skills. Without this necessarily needed Holy rest, humanity will quickly burn out. It’s our mission to work as and help bring in more disciples. Resting, communicating, and worshipping is what all of humanity is created to do for the Lord, Himself.
2. Christ Needed a Retreat
All throughout the Synoptic Gospels, Christ systematically takes time to step away from reality (even frim His people) so He could spend one-on-one time with His Father. Christ known the more we pour into others is the more reason to have the Lord pour into us.
In the book of Matthew, Christ prays in Gethsemane away from everyone (including His disciples) to talk to the Lord, His Father. This event is happening right before the crucifixion and when He gained the knowledge of being told to die on the cross for all of humanity’s sins. He was commanded by His Father, and as He did so, He prayed and then announced that He is ready to be sacrificed for the hands of all sinners (humanity).
…for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again”–Matthew 26: 42-44
3. Friends & Community
It’s not easy making well-rounded and morally correct friends. When attending a Christian fasting retreat, you have a larger chance to meet other fellow believers who have the same values as you. Retreats are perfect opportunities to construct and build community with people, especially people who have Christ and their faith ontop of all priorities.
With everyone having the mutual love of Christ, these are the friendships that will be brought up to heaven in the afterlife. From sharing personal testimonies to having deep conversations about the Bible, these relationships have the potential to be long-term.
4. Spending Time with God
Spending time with the Lord alone is important. However, fasting for Him and only filling your body up with the Holy Spirit is a whole new level for showing your dedication to your faith. Going on one of these retreats will provide you a grand amount of time to spend with the Lord alone.
Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!”–1 Choronicals: 16:11
With this serene environment, participants of a retreat get to focus only on the Lord and avoid all distractions. They take their time studying specific scriptures. Also, this a wonderful occasion to increase your communication skills with the Lord and also learn how to pray in more depth.
5. Needed Reflection
While fasting retreats have the potential to change many lives for the future, they also provide a chance for believers to reflect on their past. Many have a journal that they compose and record all of the wondrous messages, advice, and visions that the Lord gave His children while only concentrating on Him.
Most of us presumably don’t possess the time to sit down every day and reflect on who we’ve been in the past, but retreats like these, give us this opportunity. By reflecting on who we’ve been, we can improve and understand who God aspires us to become for the rest of our lives.
6. Increased Prayer Skills
Retreats supply us a unique opportunity to focus on prayer more than we do in our daily life. Prayer on a retreat may be among other people, how individually, learning how to improve your prayer skills can bring in a huge improvement.
The deeper prayer encountered doesn’t come because there’s an exceptional Jesus that we only meet while worshipping (through prayer, music, and the meditation of scripture). This prayer happens because we’ve separated ourselves from our day-to-day routine and can listen to God more intimately.
But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you”–Matthew 6:6
7. Remaining Humble
Retreats can keep us humble and grounded. Learning what past mistakes we have made and how we can prevent these outcomes from happening again is just scraping the surface of what the Lord can expose to you.
When studying the Holy Word, messages, visions, and images we had of God can be modified. Relationships we thought were spectacular can be exposed as toxic when we connect with God. Learning how to admit that you were inaccurate and you don’t know everything, gives submission to the Lord’s authority. We should attain our minds and hearts in ways in which God might be trying to destroy us in order to build us back up.
For whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything”–1 John 3:20
Many retreats offer possibilities to clear our lives of hindrances that block us from loving God fully by receiving the gift of reconciliation. Retreats may also provide you the chance to harmonize with others through prayer and conversation.
From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation”–2 Corinthians 5:16-19
In the same way that retreats allow us to reset our rhythm of life, the provision of the reconciliation gives us the chance to clear our lives of the sin that separates us from God and others. Whether or not reconciliation is included, retreats offer compelling opportunities for us to reconcile with God, others, and ourselves.
9. To Grow with The Lord
Growing in Christ is a life-long journey where every encounter along the way volunteers to supplement us. We are given opportunities to advance, to acquire a Christ-like nature that corresponds with that of our Heavenly Father. God formulated our innermost being in a fearful and astonishing manner.
The perfection of God cannot be distinguished in a cursory manner. We must see, hear, and touch to truly taste the graciousness of Christ. While fasting at a Christian retreat, you are emptying yourself of worldly necessities and instead are letting the Lord fill you up with His love, nourishment, and spiritual food.
10. Become Open-Minded
Retreats will not magically convert our lives from a disordered heap of confusion to a beautiful life filled with peace and perfection. However, retreats can show us how to change our own lives. Through meeting people on dedication for their faith and encountering the Father in new ways, we gather the spiritual skillset needed to truly remodel our lives and give individually to Christ.
In stepping away from the world and leaning more into God’s love, we have an amazing opportunity to understand our faith in a whole new way and claim it as our own. Retreats can be the essential beginnings of a transformative walk with Christ.
Where to Locate a Christian Fasting Retreat
There are not specific Christian retreats that you can sign up for online. Here is a way to find and discover places that offer fasting retreats.
Ask a Local Church
To find a retreat to go on, locate your local church and ask if they go on a retreat trip. If they answer yes, then suggest if the entire group would be interested in fasting during the remainder of the event.
It doesn’t hurt to examine a map where you live and seeing if there are church groups that love to travel. You can even explain to the church how Christ fasted and separated Himself from the rest of the world for 40 days and nights in the desert.
Go by Yourself
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to seclude yourself from the rest of reality to spend time with the Lord. Take some time out of your day to distant yourself from food and any other distractions.
Going outside, in your closet, or a quiet place brings a serene atmosphere. Grab your Bible, journal, and self to your quiet zone and spend time writing to, praying to, and communicating with the Lord. Playing soft worship music in the background can help get you in the mood to dive more in-depth in the book of the Bible.
DIY: 7 Steps to Create Your Own Christian Fasting Retreat
The best way to attend the perfect retreat is by making one yourself. Here are seven simple steps to help get you motivated and inspired to create your own Christian fasting retreat.
1. Pray & Define the Purpose
The first thing to do is go seek counseling and answers from the Lord, Himself. See what subject, event, or people group He wants you to spend time praying for. Ask your friend what social, political, or personal subject they would like to spend time caring for. Make a poll, or give each person a specifically different subject.
2. Recruit Assistance
It’s important that you don’t make yourself be the only one running this event. Ask some friends to help you host this event so that you don’t have all of the pressures on you.
Humanity was created to be together, not separated. Don’t be too worried about asking for help. Your friends would love to help and support you so you guys can construct an effective retreat.
3. Locate a Destination
Since you’ve already determined the meaning of the retreat, this step should be easier. Make sure to visit your top choices or talk to your friends who are helping you run this entire event.
This is to establish your vision for the weekend so the goals can be met.
4. Determine the Costs
Make sure that the cost of the retreat won’t prohibit any of your friends from attending. Months before you want to host this retreat, add up the amount that everything will cost. This includes the rent of a cabin/location, food, and anything else you will need for you and your friends to have the best time.
5. Make a Packing List
Creating a checklist for your friends to know what to bring, is highly recommended. There is no such thing as being too prepared for an event you have created.
Your friend group is going to need to know which items to pack and depending on the weather, what they shouldn’t. If you are interested in using a pre-made list, I created one below this section of the article.
6. Follow Up with Everyone
This is the last step to ensure a successful retreat trip. Even if you’re tempted to believe everything will go well, make sure your friends are double and triple-checking off all of the details well in advance of the time to go.
Make sure that you create a time and location for you all to meet. Communication is key, and it wouldn’t hurt to either send out a mass-text or email to your group to confirm all the plans.
The Ultimate Packing List: 45 Must-Haves for a Christian Fasting Retreat
Are you signed up to attend a fasting retreat? Have no clue what to bring? Have no fear, I put together an ultimate list of items that have you covered for every situation. Read below to see what I recommend you to pack.
First, don’t forget what you need to actually wear when you are at the Christian fasting retreat. Here are examples of items that you should pack first in your bag.
- Extra shoes (that you don’t mind getting dirty)
- Flipflops (for the shower)
- Hat or visor
- Jacket or sweatshirt (for the colder evenings around a fire)
- Swimsuit (if needed)
These are the necessities that keep you need to stay presentable. Also, I highly recommend bringing a bag to put all of these items in so that you don’t lose anything while transporting it from one place to another. You wouldn’t want to misplace any of these necessities while you are nowhere near a grocery or convenience store.
- Dental floss
- Hairbrush/ hair ties
- Body soap
- Shampoo and conditioner (Travel-sized)
- Sunscreen and insect repellent
- Antibacterial hand wipes
- Mini hand sanitizer
- Extra toiletries
- Feminine Products
Going to a Christian fasting retreat without a Bible or water bottle can make your life more complicated. You can get dehydrated form running, hiking, or doing any type of physical activity. Also, without your Bible, it will be hard to stay caught up with everyone else reading their Bibles. Here are the main essentials you shouldn’t forget.
- Personal journal and a pen
- Water bottle
- Laundry bag
- Sleeping bag and pillow
- Sleeping mask
- Small first-aid kit
These are the random items that you would like to bring during your free time. Board and card games are the best methods for inviting new friends into your life.
- Deck of cards
- Board games
- Camera and charger
- A Hammock or blanket
- Good Reading Book
- An Instrument
- Sports Equipment
- Cellphone and charger
- Mp3 player and Bluetooth speaker